Former first Town Hall
The Graphic Office
Links and documents
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
The Graphic Office is located in the first Town Hall built for Montague which was incorporated in 1917. The 1938 building was built into the bank of the hill near the bridge and fronts onto Main Street across from the 1888 former post office. It features three former garage door openings on the first floor which were once used for fire trucks. The upper storey has a commercial design with flat roof and raised parapet walls.
The building is valued for its unique commercial architectural style; for its association with the early development of civic government in the Town of Montague; and for its contribution to the streetscape.
The Town of Montague incorporated in 1917. By the late 1930s, it decided to construct a new civic complex which would provide many of the services needed by the growing community. In addition to municipal government offices, these included the first fire hall for the town, a police station (the local RCMP detachment once had a holding cell in the basement), the telephone switchboard office, the public health office, and a library (the first regional library in PEI).
The building was made to fulfill so many roles likely due to the frugal nature of the time. The Great Depression of the 1930s was still affecting many areas in Canada and this building project likely created some much needed employment. Most of the commercial ventures in Montague were then located on the south side of the river, so it made sense to locate this new building there across the street from the Post Office and near the bridge. The project was completed around 1938 and it would remain the Town Hall/Library and Fire Hall until a new complex was built on the Queen's Road on the north side of town in 1973.
The building was then used as an outlet of the Handy Andy hardware store until 1978, when it became the home of the Eastern Graphic newspaper edited by Jim MacNeill. It remains the office for the paper today.
The commercial style of the former town hall/library/fire department is evident in its cement basement with large openings once used to house the fire trucks. The flat roof with raised parapet walls of the upper storey also contribute to the style.
It remains a landmark in Montague with many historic links to the development of the town.
Source: Culture and Heritage Division, PEI Department of Communities, Cultural Affairs and Labour, Charlottetown, PE C1A 7N8
File #: 4310-20/M14
The following character-defining elements illustrate the heritage value of the building:
- the original cement foundation
- the wood frame construction with wood shingle cladding
- the flat roof with raised parapet walls
- the original fenestration of the windows and doors
- the location of former fire truck garage doors off Main Street
- the location of the building set into the hill near the bridge
Prince Edward Island
Province of Prince Edward Island
Heritage Places Protection Act
Registered Historic Place
Theme - Category and Type
- Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
- Architecture and Design
Function - Category and Type
- Office or office building
- Town or City Hall
Architect / Designer
Location of Supporting Documentation
Culture and Heritage Division, PEI Department of Communities, Cultural Affairs and Labour, Charlottetown, PE C1A 7N8
File #: 4310-20/M14
Cross-Reference to Collection